DEAR JOE: Behind those corporate titles at the top of this letter are friends of yours who wish you well. From time to time we've said a word about them. Three of them are rather new. They wanted to help, too. We are proud and happy to have them there on the masthead. I think you know them all. There’s J. J. Bork, of the Dairy Chemical Company; and Harry Burch, of the Fort Dodge Tent and Awning; and John J. Brady, of the Brady Transfer and Storage. They are doing their part along with everyone else to keep things topside on the Home Front and to keep these letters rolling to you... In the offices here at the station this evening thirty-five girls, some young and some not so young as you, but everyone of them for you, Joe, are addressing the more than 3,600 letters that will go out to you this week end. They are members of Wa-Tan-Ye, the business girls’ club that backs the Mary Dolliver project, and they come one night each week, to work two or three hours until all the envelopes are ready... There are a lot of unsung home front heroes and heroines. A little gray haired lady has been showing up here at KVFD every Saturday morning to help fold your letters, get them in the envelopes and send them off to you. No one ever asked her. She just volunteered, wanted to do it for her boys and for you. Many of you know her, Mrs. Walter Rigby.
AROUND THE TOWN. The County 4-H show is on this week at Expo Park. The prize baby beef, raised by Herbert Lee was sold at auction to Associated Retailers for $28.00 per cwt... Remember the Fortkonsa golf course The club has been abandoned, the ground plowed and there’s corn growing where once you played your woods and irons... Elmo E, McCormick was nominated for district judge by the Democrats. He refused to accept and asked that his name be withdrawn... Howard Gillman has reopened the Sanitary Dairy... We are still talking about an airport. Had a meeting at the Armory Monday night... Schuyler Johnson, of Otho, age 75, is dead. He died Monday after a lingering illness... The Dodgers beat Rossie Sunday, 7 to 3, collecting 13 hits while Proeschold held the visitors to 8. Harry fanned 17 men... Paper is so scarce, especially paper bags and wrapping paper, that nearly everyone is now carrying a market basket... School opens September 5th... The soybean crop is looking exceptionally good... The Dodgers took Nemaha, 11 to 0... Red Cross workers in Dayton have completed 11,400 dressings, their quota for July and August.
THE CIRCUS. We had a circus here last week. It was an awful gyp. It was so bad that the “Messenger” ran an editorial about it right on the front page. Just like the old Derby days—remember? Yep, it was pretty bad... Charlie Pitsor got short changed and when he asked for his money, a circus roustabout hit him over the head with a two-by-four... Of course, the kids, most of them, had never seen a circus before and they liked the elephants and the camel... The concession men sold crushed ice for 15 cents a cone, called it “Hollywood Ice.” I tried it... Never saw so much folding money. Barefooted youngsters, eight and ten, were flashing five dollar bills... The side show was merely a rig for a shell game and a crap table... The circus showed out in Expo Park inside the race track under the name of Dailey Bros. Everybody that could find a six year old as an excuse went. Tickets reserved for adults were $1.80, children $1.20. So many people came that they ran four shows. Two in the afternoon, two in the evening. Each performance lasted about one hour... The ‘Messenger’s little piece on the front page stirred up the animals. Walt Englebart charged in a communicated the next evening that it was all the sheriff's fault.
THE ELKS PICNIC. It was held out at Messerly’s grove Monday evening under the shelter of a tent much bigger than the Dailey Bros.’s (see-Circus). Harry Burch supplied it. It was like the ark. 5,000 people came and it housed them all. The food was perfect. Blank Swaney smoked 450 dozen ribs, or maybe it was 4,500 pounds. Sam Campbell came with a 15 piece orchestra and played for hours. I got sea sick going up and down the curves of that portable floor laid over the pasture. People ate fried chicken, ribs, beans, salad, rolls. Washed it all down with a lot of strong coffee and stuff, A real old fashioned picnic.
DOWN THE CENTER AISLE. Elnora Jensen, of Humboldt and Darrell Engels, of Vincent, August 20th, in Humboldt... Phyllis Copeland, of Lenox, Iowa, and Cpl. William H. Fisher, June 9th... Mary Elizabeth Scribner and Glenn Blunk, of Moorland, later this month... Pauline Steinmaus and Capt. Howard Gamper, August 12th, in Fort Dodge... Frances Hooper and Vernon R. Johnson, August 17th in Fort Dodge... Emma Westmoreland, of Clare, and Edward Shall, September 7th in Clare... Alice Skoog, of Gowrie, and Tom Lindsay, naval petty officer of Chicago, in Rockford, August 5th... Joan Dawn Armstrong and Lloyd Heinoven, of Burbank, Calif. next June.
HOME TOWN BOYS MAKE GOOD. Lt. Russel Leffler has been awarded the silver star for action in the Italian theatre... Lt. Don Fortney is now a pilot. He graduated from the twin engine school at Seymour, Ind., this week. He has been a navigator in the ferry command.
INSIGNIA. The squadron insignia—a great round patch with a tiger clawing its way over the moon and through the stars—of the VMF (N) 542 Night Fighters’ Squadron of “Hellcats’” from Cpl. Olin J. Maage who is on his way to combat, from Cherry Point, N. C., Thanks, Cpl.... The patch of the “Pacific Coastal Frontier” from Cpl. Fred Brisbin, Fort Warden, Wy. Thanks, Fred... The First and Second Air Corps patches from Cpl. Otto Jacobson, Jr. at Ardmore, Okla. Thanks, Cpl... An Amphibious Fighting Unit patch from William D. Sweeney, F 2/c, at Oceanside, Calif. Thanks, Bill... The patch of the U. S. Naval Amphibious Forces
from Ensign Q. L. Vandi, on 48 hour liberty in New York. Thanks, Quinto... The 71st Division from Sgt. Everette E. Rise at Ft. Benning, Ga. Yes sir, Sgt., we'll take care of that request... The Fourth Army and the Ninth Army Corps from Pfc. Arnold Block, Camp Van Dorn, Miss. Thanks, Arnold... The 89th Division from Pvt. Raymond Anglin, Camp Buiner, N. C. Thanks, Ray.
OVER HERE. Louella E. Schwering, S 1/c, is at the Naval Supply Depot, Oakland, Calif... Pvt. Foster Funk is at Camp Howze, Texas... Pvt. Cleo Hanson is at Camp Murphy, Fla... Leon Liljegren, S 2/c, is at Treasure Island, Calif... Pvt. Don McLaughlin is taking electronics at Chanute Field, Ill. Thanks, Don, for the patch. If there are any Joes from Webster Co., at Chanute, Don would like to meet them... Pvt. C. G. Carver is with the marines at San Diego... Lt. Harold Vinchattle is training as copilot of a B-24 at Ft. Meyers, Fla. Thanks for the patch, Lt... Pvt. Cleo Price is honorably discharged from the army... Leonard D. Randol, ARM 3/c, is doing radio work at Norfolk, Va.... Cpl. Glen Krug is a dental clerk at Ft. Benning, Ga. . . Pvt. Delbert Wilchusen is at Buckley Field, Colo. Other Dodgers he has seen there are Royce Cornell, Walter Cripps and Curtiss Tessum... Betty George, S 1/c, is with the marines at Crane, Ind. Thanks Betty, for the “Newshomb.”... Cpl. T. M. Dowd, on his way to Alaska, is in Canada and all mixed up on Canadian money... Pvt. John H. Craft is at Fort Benning, Ga... Pvt. Silvio Ronconi is at Kearns, Utah. Thanks, Silvio, for the “Post Review.”... Chaplain Donald G. Lee is now at the air field at Rome, N. Y.... Hamburger sandwiches cost 45 cents apiece in Anchorage, Alaska, and an ordinary meal a couple of dollars. That’s where Pvt. Chas. Walker is stationed... Cpl. James Hanrahan is in Camp Maxey, Texas... Sgt. Jack Hauser has returned to Pomona Base, Long Beach, Calif., after a ten day furlough. He’s an X-ray tech. with the medical corps. He and his brother, Lt. Don Hauser, recently returned from Italy, met at the Walter Johnson home in Long Beach and had two days together... T/Cpl. John E. Vohs is in Camp Howze, Texas. Thanks for the picture, John... Harry Ladwig, of Callender, is honorably discharged from the army.
DOWN UNDER. Louis S, Davis, Cox, FPO San Francisco, saw a white woman one day recently, the first one in 15 months, a Red Cross nurse... Sgt. G. Stockwell, somewhere in New Guinea, says the slogan out there now is “Back Alive in °45”... Pvt. Robert Zeka after an experience with monsoon rains in India, gives out with this, “India is for the Indians”... Howard Bath, PhM 1/c, former high school coach, is now in the South Pacific... Don Spillman, Ben Willis, and Jack Rohn, are together somewhere in the South Pacific. Thanks, Don, for the swell picture.
THE 83rd SPEARHEAD, a mimeographed sheet published for the 83rd division in France, comes from Pvt. Rosette A. Harp. And from the August 6th issue, this story of the War: “Doughboy and Nazis Hold Peace Conference”. “When an American sergeant and a German officer got together in the middle of a battlefield to talk things over and settle their fight with words instead of bullets for a sector of ground, they perhaps had hoped to set a precedent for future conflicts. It all started when a rifle company’s offensive was held up by heavy concentration of enemy fire. The C. O. ordered his two scouts forward to feel out the enemy. The scouts had advanced two-thirds of the way across the open field when machine gun fire opened up and they both fell wounded. Several minutes later, to the amazement of the doughboys in the front line positions, two German medics got up from their lines and walked over to the wounded scouts. Sgt. Charles Lewis of Sparta, Wisconsin, platoon sergeant, went out into the field to see what was going on. As he approached the German medics, a Nazi officer followed by six Jerries came up to meet him. The Nazis laid down their rifles. The sergeant followed their example. Sgt. Lewis, who speaks German, decided this was an opportune time to talk things over and he proceeded to explain to the Germans that they were licked and they may as well surrender. The German officer scoffed at that. He pointed to two of his gun positions and showed the sergeant how well covered he had the field. “Don’t you want to return to America?” the German officer asked the Sergeant. “Certainly”, replied the sergeant, “as much as you want to return to Germany.” “But,” insisted the Nazi officer, “your entire company had better surrender, you can’t possibly break through my defenses.” The sergeant heartily disagreed with the officer’s reasoning and told him about the superior firepower of his company. Then he pulled out a package of cigarettes and passed them around. Fifteen more Jerries came out in the field. An American cigarette is something no man wants to pass up. After the sergeant depleted two packs of cigarettes, the argument continued. The men were huddled in the field arguing and gesticulating, each side trying to convince the other that further fighting was useless. The discussion soon reached a stalemate. In the meantime, the German medics finished dressing the wounds of the American scouts, picked them up and carried them to the American lines. The Nazis returned to their lines and Sgt. Lewis returned to his. And then all hell broke loose.” Thanks, Rossette.
SERVICE PAPERS. The “Saipan Post Dispatch” from T/Sgt. John L. Kaufman. Big league scouts please note: The Chamarro (Saipan natives) baseball team has already trimmed an army team and a navy team. There are now 50 movie spots on Saipan and one of the outdoor theater seats 7,500, Thanks, John. Incidentally, the Sgt. has been overseas over three years... “The Staging Wing” from Cpl. Ray Newbrough, Hunter Field, Ga. Thanks, Ray... “The Scoop” and “Gosport” from Mr. and Mrs. M. L. Harrold, AMM l/c, of Basin Field, Pensacola, Fla. The Harrold’s live at Elberta, Alabama, and have been there nearly two years. Recently, they enjoyed fishing in the Gulf for ling and
mackeral. Thanks, folks... “The Bayonne Beacon” from Lt. Wallace Rogers, who is at the Naval Supply Depot at Bayonne, N. J. Thanks, Wally... “Drew Field Echoes” from Pfc. William T. Quealy, Tampa, Fla. Thanks, Bill... “The Yank” from S/Sgt. Ted R. Rule, San Pedro, Calif. Thanks, Ted.
ENJOYING MOMS COOKING, Pfc. Alvin Pieper, Jr., of Elgin Field, Fla. Thanks, Al, for the 3rd Air Corps Patch... T/Sgt. Ronald Wheat, from Santa Ana, Calif... Pvt. Fred Miller, from Camp Pickett, Va.... Duane Tepfer, S 2/c, from Great Lakes... S/Sgt. and Mrs. Oscar Olson, after 26 bombing missions over Europe. Oscar’s been assigned to the air base at Sioux City... Lt. Col. Glenn L. Laffer, from 15 months in England... Sgt. E. P. Heidick is home after 2 months overseas with Co. G. He was wounded on the Anzio beachhead May 20th... Richard Conrad, S 1/c, from duty on a troop transport... Joe, Pat and Tom Dorsey. Joe from Camp Stewart, Ga.; Pat from Camp Roberts, Calif.; and Tom from Camp Livingston, La.... Pvt. Clarence DeLanoit, of Badger, from Ft. Riley... T/Sgt. Ed Rehder, from three years service in Alaska... Wave Isabelle N. Anderson, from Stillwater, Okla... Cpl. Tom Morgan, of Otho, from Alaska... Pfc. Clyde J. Groat, of Badger, from Puget Sound Navy Yard... S/Sgt. and Mrs. Bob Lentz, from Pueblo, Colo... Harold Mattfield, flight instructor, from Ocala, Fla... 2nd Lt. Richard Thompson, from Hondo, Texas... Pvt. Frank Campbell, from Camp Bowie, Texas... Pvt. Emerson W. Prang, from Ft. Bragg, N. C.... Col. Chet Smith, from Camp Breckenridge, Ky.
WAR’S GRIM TOLL. 2nd Lt. John Antolik, 28 years old, was killed in action in France, July 31st. He was with the infantry... Lt. Dick Gadbury, wounded over Germany August 7th. has returned to duty. Dick is bombardier on a Fort based in England. Pvt. Emil Kolesar, wounded in Normandy, June 30th, has returned to his outfit... Pvt. Wilbur Chelleen is missing in action in France... Cpl. William Peed, of Duncombe, previously reported as missing in action, is a prisoner of war in Germany as of August 12th... Cpl. J. R. Drushella. of Clare, is in an Italian hospital. He was wounded by shrapnel April 8th.
GOOD FELLOWS GET TOGETHER. Gordon Cavanaugh, S 1/c, Bob Macck, Dick Streff, Fred Faine, and Gene Johnsen, at Great Lakes. Thanks, Gordon, for the “Great Lakes Bulletin”... Sgt. Al Jensen, Dick Johnsen and Wilbert Babcock, in New Guinea. They are stationed not far apart. Al is a radio operator. “It sure is a monotonous job.” Babcock is with an air service squadron. They are looking forward to a bang up celebration at home and a lot of good old U. S. beer. “Beer is mighty scarce out here.”... Capt. Duane D. Crouse, of Lehigh, and Ray Berrier, somewhere in Italy. “We were talking about corn—corney, eh!—and finally brought up the home station.” Duane has also seen many of the fellows in Co. “G”... 1st Sgt. Rob Haire and Pvt. Dwight Baker, somewhere in New Guinea. We'll take care of the greetings, Dwight... T/5 Douglas Viers and Ray Peed in the 24th Division in Italy. Doug is responsible for telephone communications in his battalion... Pvt. R. F. Wonders and Don Manguson of Dayton, somewhere in New Guinea. Don received the soldier’s medal of honor for heroism above the line of duty.
OVERSEAS. Pfc. Frank Weiss is in France... Pfc. Duane DeHart is in France. He landed on D-Day and fought “about every day up to July 31st” when his company got a break... Lt. W. F. Griffith is with the Assam Wing of the American Transport in the CBI theatre... 1st Lt. John M. Larsen is in a hospital in England recovering from a minor operation... Cpl. Stan Ulrick says the saying in England is, “The reason the Russians advance so fast is that they don’t stop to police and have clothing inspections as we do.” That’s what we thought all along. A dirty Bolshevist trick ...S/Sgt. Gene Anglin, gunner on a Liberator in England and formerly of Co. G., has been in the Air Corps four years... Fredrick C. Fisher, R. M. 2/c is in submarine service, FPO San Francisco... Pvt. Ray G. Johnson is with the engineers in France.
FROM THE FIVE CORNERS CF THE WORLD. S/Sgt. Robert E. Knapp, USMC, Cherry Point, N. C., “All the fellows here are a bit jealous of Fort Dodge for having such a fine bunch of firms to put out a letter for servicemen all over the world. It’s too bad all “home towns” can’t do the same.”
Cpl. Tom Merryman, New Guinea, “It rained for nine days in a row without letting up.
Washed all roads out and really slowed down traffic. In fact it stopped it for three days. I saw
Hubert Hood, Carl Thiess and a couple of other Fort Dodge names in a Red Cross
registration book here, but they had left no address or APO. Sure would like to see someone. I’ve
been in Guinea seven months now and never have found anyone any closer than West Bend. Saw Jack
Benny, Lanny Ross, Carole Landis and a couple of others last week. Really swell to have a
good show occasionally. Bob Hope is supposed to hit here soon. Oh yes, just missed
seeing Don McEwen by a day. Went over to see him at his outfit and he had just moved
up the day before.” (We'll play that number, Tom, and thanks for “The Wing Ding.”)
Lt. (j. g.) Clement J. Hood, New Guinea, “I am quoting here with a little
“Dittie’ which I pinched, with writer’s permission, while I was censoring mail the
other day. I hope that it adds something to your collection of New Guinea. ‘There aren’t any blondes
in New Guinea and the brunettes are rather too plain. And you won't risk temptations, might take up
headhunting again. There aren’t any pubs in Port Moresby. There are no war canteens in Milne Bay. No
whiskey or soda awaits at Kikoda, and the Japs left no liquor at Lae. No races are held on the Island
and church parade cannot be missed. When fighting the axis you don’t ride in taxis, and lobsters and
steak don’t exist.’ ”
Sgt. James M. McBride, Iran, “This part of the world is the cradle of civilization;
and let me tell you they are really backward here. I have noticed a lot of things since I have been here.
For instance, the way they do their harvest. I wish you folks back there could see it. I will try to
describe it as near as I can and let you draw your own conclusions. First they cut the grain with a cradle
and then they let it cure like we do at home. After it is cured, they pile it and then they take a few
bundles at a time and put them on the ground, Then they take a team of oxen and drive them around on it
and thresh the grain out and then they throw it in the air to get the straw and grain separated. So much
for that. And now to try and describe the people and the way they exist. In the first place these are
the peasants of the country and not the higher class. They live in adobe houses over here. Some of them
live in nothing but twigs thrown together for shelter. The food they eat here consists mostly of wheat
bread and vegetables of a sort. They make a bread that is called “chaptees,” and if I do say so, some of
it tastes pretty good when eaten by a for-
eigner. Their mode of travel is very old also. They have ox carts and some of them travel on little donkeys and on foot.” (Yes, sir, Jim, we'll say those “hellos’’”.)
Pfc. Paul G. Webb, France, “I'll tell you a story about one of the jeeps over here that actually happened. Under the windshield, the driver had the following painted, ‘You can’t miss it’ when we were first here. Then the jeep got shot up a little. And he painted these words on it, ‘They didn’t,’ Then it got shot up again and went back into service with these words on it, “They dood it again.’ But it’s still going.”
Sgt. Glenn Moen, Italy, “Last night I completed a five day rest in Rome and I had a grand time all the while I was there. The people treated me swell and they were sure to see that I had my three meals a day and a nice place to stay each night. The city itself is beautiful and very clean. Many of the people speak English fluently and seem proud to be able to do so. While I was in Rome, I had my picture taken and am sending you one.” (Thanks, Glenn, for the handsome pic.)
Pvt. Ernest Welch, Iran, “I met Roger Viers on one of the boats. A fellow by the name of Heman works down at the dock so we had quite a visit. I see where you are saving shoulder patches so I will send you one from P. G. C. The star was taken from the Iraq flag and stands for purity. The saber was taken from the flag of Iran and stands for valor. The green background stands for agriculture of both countries.” (Thanks, Chuck, for the map and patch: We'll send the addresses and see if we can find some film.)
Sgt. Rob Bowers, Italy, “Well, the battle in “the belly” isn’t going right now, but before this gets to you we should have the Gothic line smothered, might even use it to hang our laundry on. We just got back from a darn nice rest camp and everyone really enjoyed themselves. We had shows, stage shows, A. R. C. and all the doughnuts we could eat. But it only lasted four days.”
Pvt. Joe Ritts, APO San Francisco, “Here goes with the latest news and happenings on this desolate rock. We had a little visit paid to us by one of radio’s top funny men, Bob Hope, accompanied by Frances Langford and Mary Thomas, the most lovely little dancer anyone would want to see. She went over with a bang, since most of the boys haven’t seen anything resembling a white chick for some time. This afternoon Joe DiMaggio and some of the bigwigs of past American and National League experience are putting on an exhibition game not so very far from here in a park designated for all such shows and exhibitions as hit this island. It is going to be a treat for most of the boys for we have many baseball enthusiasts in our company.” (Thanks, Joe, for the pic.)
Cpl. John Steib, Italy, “For some time I have been reading some of Doc Thatcher's letters in Y. L. F. H. and of him being over here but never had the chance to locate him. The other day I happened to be in a certain hospital visiting some of the boys from our unit when a patient from one of the beds asked me what part of the States I was from. When I told him I was from Fort Dodge he told me there was a doctor in there who was from Fort Dodge but didn’t know his name. I asked the ward boy and he told me it was Thatcher. He was off duty at the time but directed me to the officers’ sleeping quarters and when I got there he was sound asleep. Another doctor happened to be awake and I told him I would like to see Captain Thatcher but I didn’t want to wake him up and if it would be alright to leave a message. He said he would wake him up and that the captain wouldn't mind as long as it was someone from home. We had quite a chat about home, past experiences and rotation. It was sure good to finally see someone from home. Some time ago I had the greatest thrill of my life. I saw the Vatican, St. Peter’s, the Pope, Colosseum and many other points and places of interest. In St. Peter’s I saw the Pope’s altar, the paintings by Michael Angelo in the dome, paintings by Raphael, the remains of St. Peter, the Sistine Chapel, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel where the Pope lies in state for three days after his death, the building where the College of Cardinals meet and select a Pope, the balcony from which the Duce gave his speeches, the beautiful white Victor Emanual building and many other places. Those are just a few. To mention and describe most of them would fill a book, I was one of the many Allied soldiers in the Pope’s first audience and received his Papal blessing. It was something that will live in my memory forever. Rome is the most beautiful city I have seen since I left the States. It has many modern streamlined buildings and it is a clean city. The largest building I saw was eight stories high. The buildings around Venice Square are very impressive. St. Peter’s is about the biggest building I have ever seen. I wish everybody could see it some day.” (Thanks, John, for “Mud, Mules and Mountains.”)
S/Sgt. Ted R. Rule, Fort MacArthur, Calif., “Just a word about the Iowa picnic which was held last Saturday at Bixby Park here in Long Beach. Among those present were Mickey Ryan, Wait Olmstead and wife, Frank Dillion and family, Fred and Art Roepke’s sister and wives. Incidentally, Mrs. Fred Roepke had, just a few moments before leaving home for the picnic, received a card from Fred who has been a Jap Prisoner for more than two years. He was taken prisoner on Guam. This is the first direct word they have ever received from him. He says he is feeling fine, and hasn't lost any weight. Gene Arn, who is in the Coast Guard, was the only other service man there besides myself.” (Thanks so much, Ted, for all the papers.)
Altogether there were ninety-six letters from you in our mail this week. Most of them we’ve acknowledged indirectly but there were other grand letters from
Wayne Vath, S 2/c, Farragut, Idaho... Pfc. Richard Culver, France ...C/N Barbara Basler, St. Louis, Mo... Neville V. Halbach, Oahu Island... Pfc. Gilbert Zabrosky and Sgt. Robert Zabrosky (twins), Camp Stewart, Ga... Wayne E. Laird, HA 1/e, Camp Pendleton, Calif... Pfc. Gordon Martinson, India... M. S. McGill, FPO San Francisco... Pfc. Marvin Inman, APO Seattle... Robert J. Riles, S 1/c FPO San Francisco... Carl E. Theiss, WT 2/e, FPO San Francisco... Pfc. John Thacker, Camp Gordon, Ga.... Bernard B. Brennan, Farragut, Idaho... Mrs. Lt. Floyd M. Fallon, Everett, Washington.
It’s nearly always evening, late evening, when I come to this last paragraph. And tonight there’s a feeling of autumn in the air. It starts you thinking of football and harvest and bonfires. Remember how the leaves turn in the fall and every wood lot and river bank flames into yellow and crimson—gold and scarlet? We'll be hunting pheasants and ducks soon. Youngsters will be going back to school. And, as always, we'll be dreaming, planning, praying, living for that day when you'll be coming home... Good night Joe. God keep you safe and bring you home to us.
Your home town correspondent. Ed Breen.